Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rock Chalking Good Time

For having two lopsided National Semi-Final games, the 2008 Men's Basketball Championship game gave people one of the most unexpected finishes in Tourney history. On the 20th anniversary of Danny and the Miracles (and the 25th Anniversary of Jim Valvano and the NC State Wolfpack), the Kansas Jayhawks made one of the most impressive comebacks in NCAA history... While Memphis made one of the all-time great collapses.

If you watched the end of this game thinking, "Great. NOW they start missing free throws. Where was this in Round 2?!"... Join the Club.

With about 2:30 left in the game, I (like many others) had completely written off Kansas and any hope of a comeback. Memphis was rolling, and I was just about to enjoy my newly purchased MLB Extra Innings package (which, ironically, could end up being the cause for a collapse of my own when Final Exams roll around). However, just as I was about to flip over to Indians/Angels, Joey Dorsey fouls out. At the time, I thought to myself, "OK, well they are up seven. Still not much of a chance for a comeback."

And then, the floodgates opened.

Kansas gets fouled and makes a pair to get within 5. Chris Douglass-Roberts does his best Nick Anderson impression by missing four straight free throws in the last two minutes. Derrick Rose splits a pair of free throws that would have won the game. And Mario Chalmers hits a three pointer that will be forever mentioned in the same breathe as the Laettner turn-around and the afore-mentioned NC State Wolfpack dunk to win the game.

It was as if Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS had taken on basketball form, with John Calipari playing Grady Little to Joey Dorsey's Pedro Martinez. Once Dorsey had to come out of the game, all hell broke lose. All of Kansas' points in the OT came from lay-ups or put-backs from the Jayhawk front line... all types of shots that Dorsey had either contested or routinely blocked throughout the game. It allowed KU to complete one of the all-time great comebacks in Championship game history.

Somewhere, in Memphis, the Mario "Bleeping" Chalmers T-Shirts are being printed as we speak.

When the dust from this game settles, Jayhawk fans will see that this game will have been the deciding factor in Bill Self's decision to stay at Kansas, even with a coaching vacancy at his alma mater OSU... That and, of course, the big fat check Kansas is about to write to keep the man to bring them their first Championship on 20 years. The NBA Draft will come calling for the services of Rush, Chalmers, CDR, Rose, and Dorsey, and Coach Calipari will be left wondering if this will have been the best shot for a championship at Memphis that he will get.


Michael Tobin said...

You got Extra Innings? I may have to come check that out. Oh yeah, and KU still sucks.

Matt Boyer said...

Yeah, if you are a student and like baseball, DON'T buy Extra Innings... it is slowly breaking my will to study.